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The Wisest Man on Earth

Key References: 1 Kings 3:1-15; 4:29-34; Prophets and Kings, chap. 1, pp. 25-34; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 4, pp. 130-133; Our Beliefs nos. 21, 17, 9

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“Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 8:10, 11).

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God gives us wisdom to serve others.

Who’s the wisest person you know? How do you think that person became so wise? Do you think you can ever be as wise? Try to picture the scenes that may have taken place in King Solomon’s palace as his workers and guests marveled at the wisdom God has given him.

Here’s the last plant from the palace garden,” a young steward said. His muscles strained with the weight of the leafy plant in the heavy pot. “Where do you want it?”

“You can place it over there, opposite the other one,” said King Solomon’s special events chief. He pointed toward the throne.

The steward carried the plant up the steps and placed it carefully behind the throne. He stood a few minutes surveying the room. “This looks great!” he exclaimed.

“Thank you, my strong friend,” said the chief. “I hope King Solomon will like it as much as you do.”

“He will,” the steward said, resting on the steps. “I wish I could watch everything.”

“I think I can arrange that,” the chief said, smiling. “Pull back the purple curtains where the tassels are.”

The young steward got up and pulled them back to reveal a small area with two stools. “You could sit here with me during the ceremony. Be here tomorrow before the sun is up. You must be in place before anyone arrives.”

The next morning, pink hadn’t tinged the sky when the young steward walked through the servants’ entrance of the palace. He asked the cook if the chief was there.

“For hours,” replied the cook without turning around.

Hurrying to the throne room, the steward asked, “Sir, is there anything you need help with?”

“No, everything is ready here. The chief of protocol has already been down and inspected the room,” the special events chief said. “Ask the cook if he needs any help.”

Time passed quickly as the young steward helped the kitchen staff. Finally the chief pulled him aside.

“It’s time to go,” he whispered.

The pair quickly made their way to the small space and took their places. The chief carefully arranged the heavy material so they could see the ceremony. Just as the last fold was in place, the court officials entered the room and quickly took their places.

With a blast of trumpets, King Solomon entered the room, followed by his personal attendants. As he made his way through the room, people bowed. The young steward admired the elegant robes and glittering crown Solomon wore.

Solomon climbed the steps to his throne and seated himself. Two attendants arranged his robes. Another handed him his scepter. At last he was ready to receive his guests.

Once again the trumpets blared and the procession of kings, prime ministers, and other heads of state streamed into the throne room.

“Why have so many people come today? It’s not a holiday,” the steward whispered.

“They came to listen to King Solomon’s wisdom,” the chief replied just as quietly “How did he get to be so wise?”

“He asked for wisdom. Solomon was just 20 years old when he became king,” said the chief. “He knew he didn’t know how to rule a country. One night he had a dream. God appeared to him and said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you’ [1 Kings 3:5].”

“You mean God was going to give him anything he asked for?” the young steward asked.

“That’s right. He knew that God had been faithful to his father, David, even though he made mistakes. Solomon felt he needed guidance to be a good king. So he asked for wisdom to rule the people,” replied the chief.

“That’s all he asked for?” asked the steward.

“That’s all. God was very pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom. He told Solomon, ‘I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life’ [verses 12-14].”

“So King Solomon is wiser than all these people?” the steward asked.

“Yes,” said the special events chief. “He’s written 3,000 proverbs and songs, and has made important discoveries about plants and animals.”

“So I’m getting to watch the wisest man on earth in action.”

“That you are,” smiled the chief.